The Current Paper Shortage, Shortly Explained

The Current Paper Shortage, Shortly Explained

Just like most any important story in the history of human civilization, it all started with the need to expel our own inner crap. In other words, it all started with toilet paper and, more specifically, the lack thereof. Now everything from cereal boxes to books to the labels on pretty much any product we convince ourselves we absolutely need are in short supply as we’re currently —and again — experiencing a major paper shortage. 

Hello I'm Nik/Unsplash

That toilet roll gets it.

It all started when mills producing paper pulp began to suffer from worker shortages thanks to that damn virus. When the first word of a possible paper shortage came out, everyone prone to hysteria and susceptibility immediately started hoarding toilet paper like it was assmageddon, and we would all, somehow, only be eating Chipotle from now on. Naturally, the demand surged for what those who don’t know jack about bidets call their “white gold,” which in turn meant that production of other items that also need paper were being delayed. After all,  hygiene is kind of an important thing, and the lack thereof is kind of what got us here in the first place. 

Delivery problems have only exacerbated the situation, with guys like Costco — who brought back a limit on toilet paper purchases in September — pointing to everything from driver shortages to port delays to a lack of shipping containers. All these factors cause troubles in not only the moving around of paper pulp but also any and all products made by said pulp.

All of this, of course, means that prices have been surging, because economics sure can be insufferably predictable. By July of this year, the price of paper pulp was 50% more than it was the same time a year ago, which of course will have a ripple effect and make everything containing wood pulp on our shelves more expensive, too. And with the holiday season coming, we’re far from being out of the woods, with people being told that if they want to order specific books for Christmas, best they order now.  Because while there will be books on shelves in shops come the holiday season, reprints are going to be a major issue, especially with books that turn out to be surprise sellers. 

Or maybe skip on books this festive season and invest in a proper and more sustainable butt cleaner instead.

You can follow Zanandi on Twitter.

Top Image: Anyusha/Pixabay, Alexas_Fotos/Pixabay

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